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Big overheating problem

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stasis-

Joined: Jun 05 2004
Posts: 4517
Location: Texas!


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Post Sat May 28, 2005 7:34 pm

well..my car started overheating like really nasty style the other day
i changed out the thermostat (it was bad) and a couple of lids/gaskets and thought it was fixed

went out tonight and i notice how hot the temp gaugse is going and then i see that lil red light again..

im lost about what it could be, any ideas?
Recon

Joined: May 27 2004
Posts: 1615
Location: Reno, Nevada


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Post Sat May 28, 2005 8:10 pm

do you have an electric fan.. you could make sure that works
stasis-

Joined: Jun 05 2004
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Post Sat May 28, 2005 8:11 pm

yea i have a fan, and pretty sure its kicking in
coolant was spraying everywhere too
Recon

Joined: May 27 2004
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Location: Reno, Nevada


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Post Sat May 28, 2005 8:41 pm

.. that could also be the problem
check your coolant level
stasis-

Joined: Jun 05 2004
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Post Sat May 28, 2005 8:43 pm

i filled it up the other day before i replaced the thermometer

im lost with what it could be
Recon

Joined: May 27 2004
Posts: 1615
Location: Reno, Nevada


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Post Sat May 28, 2005 8:53 pm

maybe the fins on the radiator are all dented in, meaning less air flow.. or all clogged up with dirt..

or maybe the gauge is bad
jethawk

Joined: Jul 07 2004
Posts: 1242
Location: Windsor, Ontario, Canada


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Post Sat May 28, 2005 8:54 pm

did you drain and replace all the coolant?....if you did this.. make sure theirs no air bubbles..... how's your water pump?
cardinalsfan

Joined: Jan 08 2005
Posts: 1707
Location: OKC


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Post Sat May 28, 2005 8:56 pm

make sure you test the new thermostat....boil some water and throw it in there and make sure it opens as long as the temp for the thermostat is around that temp....
stasis-

Joined: Jun 05 2004
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Post Sat May 28, 2005 8:57 pm

my mechanic tested the thermostat and it was fine..and gauge cant be bad..its really overheating

im sad that i cant go out icon_sad.gif
jol102001

Joined: Feb 12 2004
Posts: 5815
Location: Lake Charles, LA -- USA


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Post Sat May 28, 2005 11:09 pm

stasis- wrote:
my mechanic tested the thermostat and it was fine..and gauge cant be bad..its really overheating

im sad that i cant go out icon_sad.gif


your mechanic didn't know what was causing it?
Mav

Joined: Nov 26 2003
Posts: 2675
Location: So Cal


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Post Sun May 29, 2005 12:15 am

When you replaced your thermostat and refilled, it doesn't mean your coolant is still full. There is probably air in the lines. Run the engine, once it gets hot enough for the valve to open, turn it off as it gets close to redline. Let it cool a little, open the radiator a hair (make sure you have a rag over it while you're doing this). Open it enough to hear a little hissing. You might hear a little bubbling too. Be careful not to open it too much or everything will come boiling out. If a little coolant starts to come out on the rag, then tighten it up again, wait a few seconds, and loosen the cap just a hair again. You want the hot air to come out but not the coolant. Eventually you'll get enough air/pressure out to be able to open the cap all of the way without it boiling over. Refill the radiator again, and repeat until after doing what I said, the radiator is still at the full line.

Another thing that could be wrong with it (if it's not truly overheating) is there is a seperate heat sensor that tells the guage whether your engine is overheating. I've seen that temperature sensor go bad after it has overheated from a thermostat. You may need to replace it. It's only about a $10 part, but it will require you having to drain some of the fluid again, and on some engines, it's a pain to get to.

Try those 2 things. They are cheap, simple, and something you can do yourself. Just make sure when you're doing all of this, you're not letting the engine get too hot. The moment it starts to get to the red line, make sure you turn it off. You don't want it blowing a gasket.
FatManDan

Joined: May 30 2004
Posts: 2766
Location: Roseville, MI


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Post Mon May 30, 2005 7:37 am

Mav wrote:
When you replaced your thermostat and refilled, it doesn't mean your coolant is still full. There is probably air in the lines. Run the engine, once it gets hot enough for the valve to open, turn it off as it gets close to redline. Let it cool a little, open the radiator a hair (make sure you have a rag over it while you're doing this). Open it enough to hear a little hissing. You might hear a little bubbling too. Be careful not to open it too much or everything will come boiling out. If a little coolant starts to come out on the rag, then tighten it up again, wait a few seconds, and loosen the cap just a hair again. You want the hot air to come out but not the coolant. Eventually you'll get enough air/pressure out to be able to open the cap all of the way without it boiling over. Refill the radiator again, and repeat until after doing what I said, the radiator is still at the full line.
**** THAT! good way to **** screw up and burn your self..........u could goto pepboys or murrays and get a radiator cap that has a pressure release tab thinger on it
jethawk

Joined: Jul 07 2004
Posts: 1242
Location: Windsor, Ontario, Canada


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Post Mon May 30, 2005 12:31 pm

or just start the car with the rad cap off....turn your heat on full blast..... and watch the air bubbles come out.... and then top off if needed
stasis-

Joined: Jun 05 2004
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Post Mon May 30, 2005 12:53 pm

mine has a pressure release tab, but im gonna go check the levels now since im stuck at home anyway
Rags

Joined: Apr 21 2005
Posts: 3527
Location: dayton


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Post Mon May 30, 2005 1:01 pm

just run it till your engine blows. then buy a new engine because then you will at least know the problem, your engine is blown icon_biggrin.gif
and yea, that bleeding the coolant idea is a good way to ruin your weekend.
stasis-

Joined: Jun 05 2004
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Post Mon May 30, 2005 1:04 pm

Rags wrote:
just run it till your engine blows. then buy a new engine because then you will at least know the problem, your engine is blown icon_biggrin.gif
and yea, that bleeding the coolant idea is a good way to ruin your weekend.


if i had 1200 id do a performance rebuild to make it ready for a turbo..but right now, I don't even have money for coolant in my budget
Rags

Joined: Apr 21 2005
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Post Mon May 30, 2005 1:16 pm

hm. that does indeed suck royally. i dont really know a whole lot about the electronic cooling system. next time you see a mechanic, tell him he sucks if he cant give you a better answer.
stasis-

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Post Mon May 30, 2005 2:28 pm

well when its cold the overflow gasket is pretty low so ill see if i can find enough money to see if that fixes it
Mav

Joined: Nov 26 2003
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Location: So Cal


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Post Mon May 30, 2005 6:56 pm

jethawk wrote:
or just start the car with the rad cap off....turn your heat on full blast..... and watch the air bubbles come out.... and then top off if needed


I've tried that before.. usually doesn't work as it needs the pressure to push the coolant into the engine. That's why I said to do it the way I do...

And I'm talking about a screw on radiator cap (I should have made that clearer), not one of those twist lock caps. The twist lock cap would just blow off. A screw on cap, if you slowly unscrew it till air starts leaking out, It will still be on another full rotations worth of threading and you'll be fine. You put a rag over it just in case some leaks out, and if you are stupid enough to open it too quickly, the rag will stop the sprayed coolant from hitting you. I've replaced 2 radiators and flushed them 3 times now.. done this is all situations, never had a problem with it.
Optika1 illushun

Joined: Jun 09 2003
Posts: 1480
Location: Coal Region, Pa


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Post Mon May 30, 2005 11:05 pm

Mav im sorry but ur proceudre is a good way for someone to get severly burned. i dont care if u did it 100x successfully. u should NEVER EVER open a hot radiator cap. why? because a cap is set to a specific pressure which increases internal pressure. why does it gush out? because the pressure inside the system is FAR greater than the atmsophere.

are u sure the t-stat is in the right way? overflow tank should be at the set mark when cold and hot. fill it at the tank. i ususally let the engine run with the cap off to release the air. sometimes i cycle the suspension to work out some bubbles as well.

best method for refilling a system is to vacuum it and fill it. requires special tools but works fantastic.

BTW im an auto tech and what Mav described is a good way to get hurt.
Mav

Joined: Nov 26 2003
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Post Mon May 30, 2005 11:18 pm

Optika1, you're probably right.. I am one of the few people who when doing it, use some precautions while doing it.. I use a little common sense when I do it... I mean it's like working on electrical outlets, replacing them etc.. while the power is still on. I'll do it np.. it's all about common sense.. sure you can get shocked.. if you're stupid and not careful. Electricians do it all the time, but wouldn't recommend an amature do it.. heck, I've never been to electrician school, but I wouldn't be suprised if they are told specifically not to..

Doesn't mean it can't be done or can't be done safely.. it just leaves less of a margin for mistakes is all. If I had the vacuum you are talking about (I know what it is you are talking about, they do work great), then cool.. but I'm just working from experience of running the engine with the cap off and it overheating and not sucking in the water. The only way I could get it to take in the water was to run it until it ran a cycle, then turn it off, let it cool a little, slowly let out the pressure, and add more to it, tighten back up, and repeat. When I let out the pressure, it's not something I do in 30 seconds.. it usually takes like 5 minutes of letting it out slowly before I can actually remove the cap.. but it does work if done carefully.

I probably shouldn't be recommending it on here though, as I forget that most people don't use common sense, and with my luck, I say this, and someone will unscrew it, hear air coming out, and then unscrew it all the way.. then come back with second and third degree burns **** at me because they didn't follow me instructions completely and decided it's my fault.

Anyways, whatever way you can find to get all of the air bubbles out safely, that's probably your problem. If you're overflow tank is below the line, fill it back up again then. It shouldn't be below the line.. that means the engine had to suck more up from it.
stasis-

Joined: Jun 05 2004
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Post Tue May 31, 2005 12:07 pm

well ive got a pressure release tab on my cap so it should be fine..and if the prob was not having enough coolant, would it of still boiled over and started leaking like it did the other day after it started overheating?
Mav

Joined: Nov 26 2003
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Post Tue May 31, 2005 6:33 pm

If you have the cap on, it should never boil over unless it got so hot it blew the seal on the cap, or the cap was already broken/not tightened enough to begin with.
stasis-

Joined: Jun 05 2004
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Post Tue May 31, 2005 6:48 pm

im at a loss of what could be causing it..thought it was the thermometer but after i fixed that (and had it working) it still overheated and coolant would boil over
ProjectRAGE

Joined: Mar 04 2003
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Post Tue May 31, 2005 7:00 pm

Did you try a fiero forum? thats all I can think of...I mean there arent to many fiero specialists on here...

If a mechanic dont know whats wrong, he shouldnt be in this field...
Optika1 illushun

Joined: Jun 09 2003
Posts: 1480
Location: Coal Region, Pa


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Post Tue May 31, 2005 7:01 pm

coolant will flow from the pressure release into the overflow and boil out. are u sure the t-stat is in right?
stasis-

Joined: Jun 05 2004
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Post Tue May 31, 2005 7:04 pm

fiero forums..i only know one, and i cant sign up on it because i dont have an ISP email
the t-stat is in right..and i dont have the money to get it checked out by a mechanic right now, especially if they are just gonna throw stuff at it like last time
GlowinPontiac

Joined: Mar 04 2004
Posts: 5959
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Post Tue May 31, 2005 7:18 pm

isnt the radiator in the front and the engine in the rear? maybe a hose going from the front to the back is clogged or pinched somewhere along the way?
Losing quickly

Joined: Apr 26 2005
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Post Tue May 31, 2005 8:13 pm

I asked on a fiero forum for you..let you know when some responses generate.
Losing quickly

Joined: Apr 26 2005
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Post Tue May 31, 2005 8:25 pm

ok...some more questions. Did you do the special Fiero coolant fill procedure? Replace the thermostat housing cap? And is there anything wrong with the radiator cap...and check the fan.
stasis-

Joined: Jun 05 2004
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Location: Texas!


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Post Tue May 31, 2005 9:00 pm

special fill procedure? hmm radiator cap seems fine..coolant overflow gasket seems fine when its not boiling over icon_smile.gif ..and the fan turns on
Losing quickly

Joined: Apr 26 2005
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Location: SC


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Post Tue May 31, 2005 9:35 pm

heres another response"I just had a similar problem. Scared me to death. Check that the water pump turns freely. Sometimes they seize "partially." To test the fans pull the "fan" switch out of the intake, and ground the center pin. By grounding it, you activate the fan relay, if both fans do not turn on, there is your problem. If they do, and you run a full cold, hot, fan, cold test, and it does not work, then it is a problem with the fan switch itself. You will probably need to remove some vacuum tubes at minimum to get the fan switch out.
If the fans do not come on when grounding the pin, first chekc your fuse (that's all it was for me) its a 10 amp fuse in the corner. If that is fine, apply a steady 12 volts to the fan by gorunding one of the pins on the connector, refer to a service manual for specifics since this can be dangerous, and I don't want to tell you the wrong pin. If the fan works, then it is simply your fan relay which is located near the driver's side headlight. Do not confuse it with the isolation relay."
Rags

Joined: Apr 21 2005
Posts: 3527
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Post Tue May 31, 2005 9:39 pm

I HAVE THE ANSWER!!!!!

just drive it only when its really really cold out. icon_biggrin.gif
stasis-

Joined: Jun 05 2004
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Location: Texas!


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Post Tue May 31, 2005 9:54 pm

yea that helps..summer just started icon_sad.gif
Losing quickly

Joined: Apr 26 2005
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Location: SC


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Post Tue May 31, 2005 10:38 pm

lol
jol102001

Joined: Feb 12 2004
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Location: Lake Charles, LA -- USA


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Post Wed Jun 01, 2005 11:58 am

if you must drive it... drive with your windows down and the heater on high... it cools the engine some.
stasis-

Joined: Jun 05 2004
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Post Wed Jun 01, 2005 12:25 pm

jol102001 wrote:
if you must drive it... drive with your windows down and the heater on high... it cools the engine some.


thats what ive been doing..but my mechanic likes me and told me he'd go ahead and look at it for me and i can pay him when i have the money..so now i just gotta wait
stasis-

Joined: Jun 05 2004
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Post Wed Jun 08, 2005 5:09 pm

heres an update..its still **** up
changed the thermostat, checked the coolant, got air out of the lines, checked the radiator...im stumped
Mav

Joined: Nov 26 2003
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Post Wed Jun 08, 2005 5:36 pm

You said the fans are kicking on.. are they kicking on in time? Check the temp sensor for the fans if they are electric fans... Also, are you sure it's still overheating and not a bad reading on your guage in the dash? Is the coolant still boiling out? As I stated before, once that sensor gets overheated too much, it often doesn't function properly anymore.
stasis-

Joined: Jun 05 2004
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Location: Texas!


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Post Wed Jun 08, 2005 5:38 pm

Mav wrote:
You said the fans are kicking on.. are they kicking on in time? Check the temp sensor for the fans if they are electric fans... Also, are you sure it's still overheating and not a bad reading on your guage in the dash? Is the coolant still boiling out? As I stated before, once that sensor gets overheated too much, it often doesn't function properly anymore.


yea its still boiling out
fans seem to be kicking in on time
mechanic can't figure it out
Mav

Joined: Nov 26 2003
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Post Wed Jun 08, 2005 6:20 pm

do a radiator flush with one of the vacuum machines.. maybe you have a crapload of gunk in there that's restricting the flow of coolant so it's not able to circulate.. just an idea.. I'm stumped as well otherwise.. it's probably something totally simple and we'll all be like "oh yeah, duh, why didn't we think of that"... If the coolant is boiling over, obviously something isn't working right.. if thermostat is working fine, then our concern isn't the temp guage sensor.. even if it's reading overheating when it isn't supposed to, it still wouldn't cause your engine to actually spew out radiator fluid.

Is your radiator fluid pretty dirty and grody looking? I would find a place that uses a machine to flush it. Get them to flush water through the engine till they get clean water, and then have them refill the system with a 50/50 coolant/water...
Knox

Joined: Feb 12 2003
Posts: 6851
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Post Wed Jun 08, 2005 6:56 pm

My truck is in the shop right now for a blown headgasket. icon_sad.gif


I hope you find the solution soon because I am no help. icon_neutral.gif
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